Behind the Scenes (Plus 2 Comedies & 2 Dramas)
by Norman Beim
Collection / Anthology
Behind the Scenes (Plus 2 Comedies & 2 Dramas) is a collection of plays by Norman Beim containing: Behind the Scenes, The Raffertys, Guess Who's NOT Coming To Dinner!, A Little Problem, and By The Rivers Of Babylon.
Behind The Scenes is The Entrance Into Wonderland, Part One of an epic play in seven acts about the American Theatre in the 1920s, taking place in America and England. It follows the career of actress, Ruth Gordon, director/producer Jed Harris and playwright S.N. Behrman. Popping in and out are Maud Adams, George Abbot, Helen Hayes, Noel Coward, Booth Tarkington, et al.
The Raffertys takes place in the living room of a tenement flat in Chicago, 1933. Jason Rafferty, the oldest son of an Irish immigrant family and a small time gangster, has escaped from prison. Despite the fact that the building is surrounded by police, he manages to slip into the apartment of his family. He hopes to remain free and live in obscurity with his wife. In his absence, however, his wife, Helen has fallen in love with his brother Tim, who has been in love with Helen for years. The dilemma leads to a violent conclusion.
Guess Who's NOT Coming to Dinner! occurs in a northeast town. The action alternates between Stacey's home and his office. It's 1968. Stacey Cooper, a successful Afro-American neuro-surgeon married to Jennifer, a white woman, is cleared of molesting a young patient, when it's discovered that the accusation was false and racially motivated. Stacey is deeply shaken by the ordeal and plans to join the Black Panther movement in Burbank, led by Jeremiah Jones. Margaret Kimberley, Stacey's white mother-in-law, tries to encourage the move, hoping to break up her daughter's marriage which has alienated Jennifer from the family and broken the father's heart. Jennifer, meanwhile, does her best to save her marriage.
A Little Problem happens in Philip's apartment on the East Side of Manhattan. Philip has made up his mind to break off his affair with Olivia, and has set his cap for Prudence, who has canceled her wedding to Fred and has decided to have an affair with Philip. Fred, however is determined to hold on to Prudence and Olivia has plans of her own in regard to Philip. Love is anything but predictable.
By The Rivers of Babylon is set in the Thau living room in the Bronx and the Gold apartment in Newark, New Jersey. Nathan, the son of a Jewish immigrant family, looks back on the life of his Uncle Jack, a brilliant, conflicted man whose frustrated life as a would be author leads to tragedy. A learned scholar as a boy in Poland, Jack journeys to Palestine where the struggle for the establishment of the state of Israel is going nowhere. He joins his sister, Frieda, in America, marries and tries various businesses, and has a son who ends up a suicide. Nathan dedicates his life to pursue the dream his uncle was never able to pursue, the life of an author.
Behind The Scenes
"A lovingly written piece about Broadway in the early Twentieth Century, full of twists, egos and struggles; the subject matter is engrossing. In particular Jed Harris is a dynamic, well drawn character." - Goodman Theater, Chicago
"A chronicle of a fascinating time in American theatre history, a play of ambitious scope." - Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC.
"A solid family drama with plenty of conflict." - Westport Country Playhouse
"Engaging...the characters are well drawn and the piece has an admirable foward momentum which drives the action from beginning to end." - Gate Theatre, Dublin
"A good classic melodrama." - Barrow Street Theatre
Guess Who's NOT Coming To Dinner!
"A Good play, elegantly written." - UP Theater Company
"You always tickle the funny bone." - Jerry Stiller
"Compassionate play by a most gifted playwright." - Horton Foote
A Little Problem
"A charming and off-beat look at the pitfall of contemporary romance" - Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director of Manhattan Theatre Club
"Norman Beim is the best. His dialogue conveys ideas beautifully." - Mario Fratti
By The Rivers Of Babylon
"The characters and story lines are wonderfully drafted with an authenticty rarely equaled and never surpassed." - Midwest Book Review
"A tender memory play, written with love, humor and a hint of nostalgia." - Frank Bara, director
- Minimum Fee: $75 per performance